Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Sacha Doodle

Born on Christmas Day in 2000, Sacha was a black lab mix that was smart and sweet and was the most tolerant dog I've ever met.  Sacha was about 10 months old when Cara was born.  Though most dogs would be upset about such a change in their own lifestyle, Sacha took this new creature in stride and was ready to handle anything this kid could dish out.
"The second I can find a way to get out of this exersaucer, I am gonna take the black furry thing for a spin."
Cara bounced. Sacha took it.
"When Mom isn't looking, it is ride 'em cowboy time."
Cara didn't actually put any weight on the dog's back,
 but that didn't stop Sacha from shooting us the "help a dog out" look.
Since she never actually got to "ride" Sacha, she had to settle for pretending to ride her.
Connor  had such a fascination with Sacha and, though he also tested her tolerance levels, when it boiled right down to it, he was drawn to the dog.  It was fun to watch his interactions with Sacha.  Having lived through the cowgirl years with Cara without even a growl uttered, I knew she would treat the boy just as gingerly.  
"You sure this new kid isn't going to try to ride me, too?"
He loved the dog so much, he even shared his rocks with her.
It was around this age that he'd refer to the dog in a whispery voice as "Shah Shah".
Okay. So he tried riding the dog once.
This boy, without a doubt, loved this dog.
About three years ago, Sacha went to live with a friend of the family.  Sacha spent these years spoiled the way she deserved to be and given the attention that someone that didn't have two kids could provide. We've brought Sacha to the house many times in those three years and the kids provide their own brand of love to the dog whenever they see her.  

Today, we brought Sacha to the house again.  At almost 12, her muzzle is now grey, her steps unsteady.  Tomorrow Sacha will be laid to rest at her favorite place, a farm in Wisconsin that she visited quite a bit in her later years.  Lymphoma has traveled to her liver and her bone marrow and will soon make it so that medicine will no longer provide relief. 
Even today, Sacha remained ever-patient with that curious boy.
Today was our day to say goodbye to the old girl and it broke my heart to do so. She lay around most of the day getting love and attention from us and spending the rest of her time outside (as much as we would allow).  Cara made a green bandanna with the dog's name in red. Sacha, the dog who loves snow and hates thunderstorms. This Christmas dog who would leave the room whenever Craig sneezed.  Our sweet Shah-Shah. We're going to miss you.
That's a good girl, Sacha.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Mommy Two Shoes

Last week, I took Cara to the community center where she was performing with her school choir.  I decided I needed to dress a little nicer than the paint-splattered sweatpants I'd worn earlier that day while cleaning out closets and getting stuff organized to be given away.

After the outdoor tree-lighting ceremony, we headed inside for cookies, hot chocolate, and a bit of socializing.  I walked over to where Cara was sitting on the floor with a group of her friends when Cara pointed at my feet and said, "Mom, your shoes don't match!"  I look down as one of the moms assured me that it was hardly noticeable and Cara and her friends began to giggle.

This does not make my OCD happy. Not one bit.
Although I would have preferred being told this embarrassing tidbit in private, it was a good thing she caught my error.  Just hours earlier, I had put a similar set of mismatched shoes in one of the bags I had organized for donations.

But my favorite part of this whole incident? When Cara told me that my two black shoes didn't match, this was what she was wearing:

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The word she was looking for was "pilgrims"

Cara has been very adamant this year that Christmas songs and decorations should be saved until after Thanksgiving. She feigns disgust when we go into a store adorned in red and green. She has been honing her pre-teen eye-rolling skills when I flip the radio to holiday tunes. It's a display of forced anger that I quite enjoy teasing her about because that's the kind of mother I am.

In the car the other day, we took back roads and I took advantage how far my daughter still has to sit from the radio controls while I tuned in and turned up the Christmas songs. The giant puff of exasperation exploded in a rant about the music and then into the lawn decorations she was seeing on our route.

We turned the corner and came upon a house that was adorned with Thanksgiving inflatables. "See?!", Cara exclaims. "Those people know how to decorate for the right holiday. They've got their yard full of turkeys and immigrants!"

Saturday, November 17, 2012


Cara has always had a colorful view of what it is like to be retired.  When she was five, my stepfather was getting ready to retire.  After she had overheard me talking about this upcoming event, the following discussion took place:
Me: "Grandpa is going to retire in a couple of weeks. What do you think he's going to do now that he doesn't have to go to work?"
Cara: "Stay at home."
Me: "What do you think he's going to do at home?"
Cara: "Whatever Grandma says."

Now that 5 of her 6 grandparents are retired, Cara has honed her thoughts on the subject.  We were talking about one set of her grandparents when this little gem came out:  "They're retired. All they have to do is stay alive and be happy."

I wonder what she thinks about stay-at-home moms.  Actually, I'm pretty sure I'd rather not know.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Honesty is Such a Lonely Word

Today in the car, after Connor insisted on debating about something that wasn't up for debate, he got upset that the results of this debate were not to his liking.  After a moment's pause, he said, "Mom. You're the bestest mom ever...but I don't like you right now." 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Calendar Countdown

Connor and I were counting how many days there were until Christmas.  When we figured out what that number was (47, for those who are curious), he was able to succinctly capture my sentiments exactly when he exclaimed , "Wow. I can't even wait that many days!"

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Sticker Day 2012

I was about 7 years old when I first became aware of Presidential elections.  My knowledge of things political up until then was limited to 1) knowing a song about Jimmy Carter sung to the tune of "My Bologna Has A First Name" and 2) knowing that you DO NOT sing that song in front of your military father.

Growing up, my parents were usually reserved with voicing their political opinions around us kids.  My grandmother, on the other hand, was very vocal about her politics.  I mean, when she was 7, women had just won the right to vote.  This woman lived among generations of women who had known a time when they had no voice.  And once she was old enough to vote herself, she did so with much vigor.  

Though I am not as vocal about my political persuasion as my grandmother (a die-hard Republican who had an elephant collection would only sit in the right hand pews at church), my current leanings are not a secret to my children.  My kids have accompanied myself and my husband to our polling place and have literally witnessed who and what we've voted for.  We view voting as both a right and a duty and exercise that right with regularity.

After we come home from voting, I will eagerly watch the election results with an electoral college coloring map (thanks, Allison) with Cara.  The same girl who chose to study Susan B Anthony last year, citing Ms. Anthony as her personal hero.  A girl who just told me on the way to school that she is hesitant to turn 18 and be able to vote because "it's a lot of responsibility."  I am in awe of how, at eleven, she has a better appreciation for that sense of responsibility than a number of people who have been voting for years.  

So, go vote, people.  It may be the only exercise you get today!  
"Vote good and get a sticker." -Connor (2010 Election)